London Plane tree

(Question)

There is a mature London Plane Tree in the Brighton, Ont. area that I would like to propagate. I believe that cuttings are the way to go, but I do not know when or how to do this. Any help would be appreciated.

(Answer)

The London plane tree, Platanus x acerifolia, can be propagated by cuttings or seed. It’s important to take the cuttings during the plane tree’s dormant period, from mid to late autumn or late winter.  Take material from healthy, vigorous shoots of the current season’s wood — the best times to take cuttings are after leaf-fall or just before bud-break.

Avoid weak, damaged or spindly shoots, and those that have soft green leaves.  Select strong, straight stems that have healthy buds.  Plant the rooted cuttings out in their permanent positions after 12 months.

Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener (from North Carolina A&T State University Extension) discusses how to make stem cuttings in detail. Purdue University Consumer Horticulture’s New Plants from Cuttings is also clearly written and provides good instructions.